This blog is provided by John Sherwen, and provides an insight into how the group at Duddon is flourishing.
A message to young WWR paddlers
Paddle as many different types of boat as you can. Each type needs different skills.
Have a go at different disciplines of paddlesport: kayak – canoe - slalom – sprint – marathon.
Do 2 or 3 other sports to make you an all-round athlete, I like swimming front crawl as it uses similar muscles to paddling.
Make sure your kit is the right size for you – would you play football in boots two sizes too big? Keep away from those big heavy wavehoppers until you are big and strong enough to handle them.
Now that we've had a little rain, we can start to do some good skills work on the whitewater.
I'd like to highlight a skill that is critical to advanced racing, and makes recreational paddling a WWR much easier as well - Predicitve Edging
The WWR manual has a number of drills that can be executed on flatwater, one of which is the 'drop hip steering'. This teaches the paddler to use downward pressure on the seat (or hips) to control the edge of the boat,, leaving the paddler able to continue with leg drive.
It is this type of edging (rather than bracing up into knee blocks or thigh bars) that we as paddlers employ a lot. One of the most common causes of problems on a rapid is edging incorrectly, or applying an edge too late. This is particularly true of capsizes involving entering a flow change (e.g. on a corner)